It’s truly a shame that when it comes to what a celebrity is wearing (which is supposedly personal freedom), everyone runs to make an unnecessary statement. Yet, when the global supply of oxygen is running out, the world stands still. The Amazon’s been burning vigorously for the past THREE WEEKS, and it’s not making headlines.
Darkness fell in Brazil’s skies last Monday at mid-day, and no, it’s not the sun’s unpredicted absence, it’s the smoke. Yes, you just read that. The smoke cloud from the burning rainforest blocked the sun, giving Sao Paulo just the zombie apocalypse atmosphere it’s been missing. Shocking, right?
But first, why is this important?
Well, for starters, the Amazon is the largest tropical rainforest on earth. And the fact that it makes up 20% of the fresh, clear air we breathe and plays a significant role in slowing down global warming, no wonder it’s been dubbed the “lungs of our planet”.
So, say hello to melting glaciers, rising sea levels, soon-to-be-extinct species, vicious climate change, and much more.
And how did this happen?
Wildfires. These are expected to occur during the dry season, which takes place during July and August and peaks in September, even though rainforests are normally wet and humid. However, another great influence on that has to be deforestation of the land for farming and ranching purposes. Again, human activity. Or should we call it inhumane activity?
According to BBC, satellite data detected more than 74,000 fires this year. This is more than double the fires Brazil had witnessed back in 2013.
So, what to do about it?
While people are donating to organisations such as the World Wide Fund for Nature or Amazon Watch, if you feel somewhat hand-tied, you can still do more. Just be more environmentally-conscious; try to reduce your paper and wood consumption, contribute to planting trees and increasing green spaces, and reduce your carbon footprint.
The least you could do is join the social media stir. The upsetting incident has triggered a worldwide viral trend, and the hashtag #PrayForAmazonia has been included in almost 3 million tweets since last Tuesday.